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Why I Write: Part 2 – The Therapeutic Value

Over the years, my work as a therapist has been eclectic in terms of theoretical orientation, which I have mentioned in other articles. Initially, my foundation included psychodynamic theory, family systems, solution-focused, and, eventually, some incorporation of cognitive-behavioral therapy. I say this because, as a therapist, no matter what I have learned, I continue to believe in the importance of the relationship. Also, I confess that until the last few years, I have never done much in giving homework assignments. On a few occasions, when people have requested them, I figure out something for them to practice, and when they didn’t follow through, which was usually the case, no worries I tell them.

EDITOR’S NOTE: SEE PART 1 BELOW ⤵︎

Why I Write: Part 1- The Genesis

Late Bloomer

About ten years ago, I discovered the therapeutic value of writing. Now some of you reading might be saying, “Duh, really, Darlene? You are a therapist and did not know this.” I did not give it much credibility until after an event that reunited me with an erstwhile friend. I had not seen her except for a brief, frosty encounter when my sweet father died years earlier. Our next face-to-face meeting occurred at the end of a funeral service for her wonderful father. When I paid my respects, we had a little bit of a more extended conversation than years earlier.

Our friendship had ended around the time she married. Before that, it had been waning for several months, and after a few get-togethers, we just stopped talking without ever saying why. Following her father’s funeral, however, something happened. Upon returning home, I wrote a note of condolence to each member of her lovely family. When I penned this old friend, I added that I wished her well and stated, “…as we live parallel lives.” After completing this message, something happened.

All the years of questions and ambivalence about what occurred lifted, and I felt free from the chain of unresolved events of long ago.

Yes, I finally saw the therapeutic worth of utilizing the instrument of the pen.

Falling In Love With This Form of Expression

As time went on, I began writing regularly. I realized that I not only fell in love with writing but truly embraced the therapeutic efficacy it could offer. Now I encourage clients and others to “write it down” when they are trying to reconcile from something, heal or change their mindset. The therapeutic power of writing can help foment ideas by just jotting down a few words.

Most of my writing is to encourage people to remain open to the possibilities so they do not miss fleeting opportunities that could offer them delights beyond their wildest imaginations. I also write to share some of my own life experiences without necessarily making it about me. If any of my writings are useful to others, then I feel quite privileged that at the very least, I prompted an idea or provided an inkling of normalcy and hope.

Therapeutic Value For All

Writing also merits therapeutic value for me when I feel the need to address a particular issue. Recently, such an instance occurred around a blanket statement. Reluctantly, I wrote a rebuttal because I believe it would have been a disservice to me and many others if I had not. In my attempt to provide respectful dissent, I meticulously crafted the article. As to be expected, however, there was a consequence of subtle ostracization from a few people. It stung, but the therapeutic significance of defending my principles outweighed everything else.

I have temporarily shied away from engaging certain parties and will watch to see how things unfold. Being an optimist, I hope, “this too shall pass.” Eventually, I will take the high road and engage again. Why? Because moving past such minor infractions is, as we therapists say, a corrective experience, and that is the most therapeutic and healing of all.

What About You?

Do you recognize the therapeutic value in writing? Has it ever assisted you in resolving an issue? Do you have the desire but fear how people will receive your prose?

My advice?  If you want to overcome your trepidation, write a few words, and observe what will happen. You might be pleasantly surprised to see that you will not want to stop.

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Darlene Corbett
Darlene Corbetthttps://darlenecorbett.com/
Darlene Corbett views herself as a life-long learner, a pursuer of excellence, a work-in-progress, and a seeker-of-the-truth. She is also referred to as the "Unstuck Expert" in her many roles. Why? Because for over thirty years, she has been assisting people to get unstuck. Darlene's primary roles are now Therapist, Hypnotherapist, and Author/Writer. Although she loves speaking, it is now secondary and done mainly through her podcast, "Get Unstuck Now. Because of her wealth of experience, Darlene began putting her thoughts on paper.  Many of her blogs can also be found on Medium, Sixty and Me, and DarleneCorbett.com. Penning these articles set the stage for her first book, "Stop Depriving The World of You," traditionally published by Sound Wisdom. Being a believer in pushing oneself as long as one has life, Darlene has tried her hand at fiction, hoping to have something completed in the no-so-distant future. Over the years, Darlene has been described as animated or effervescent which contradicts the perception of a psychotherapist. She firmly believes in the importance of being authentic and discusses platinum-style authenticity in her book.

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9 CONVERSATIONS

  1. Blessings Darlene, I took away from this great article another confirmation for me that writing is a joy, theraputic and rewarding for me in many ways. As a contributor to Bizcatalyst360 I have learned so much through other writers and what they express. I look back when I began to write at age 12, and continued journal after journal, as a way to leave for my grandchildren some day a legacy of what they would never know first hand. Its also a way for me to express my imagination and thoughts through my writing when verbal expression is often silent for me. Thank you

    • Thank you Lynn as always for your lovely comments. Yes, disappointments in life as well as joys can be conveyed through writing. The beauty is that we may leave our earthly life, but our writing will remain as a legacy, especially for those who are disconnected from us.💖

  2. Darlene, thanks for sharing part 2 of your writing story. It is beautiful and resonates with me. Writing continues to be therapeutic for me, and I only connected with my love for it a few years ago. I’m always amazed that it laid dormant for so long, but once the portal opened, I knew it was a path I must follow, albeit slowly.

    I find writing enables me to deep dive into my own emotions, and as I extract those fragile or broken pieces, I know that I am also healing – and growing. I didn’t embrace creativity at first, but the more I write, the more I understand how freeing it can be. And that I am a creative spirit. The only thing ever holding me back is the trepidation in my mind. But I’m working on that.

    Thanks for this inspiration piece, Darlene. It’s a lovely way to reflect on why we write.

    • Thank you, Laura, for your lovely comment. I appreciate it and am so pleased it resonates with you. I always enjoy your beautiful writing and look forward as always to your next piece whenever you are ready to reveal it. Thank you again!💖

  3. I absolutely love this article and the ways you’ve seen writing as therapeutic. I know that writing became a safe way to put “voice” to so much of what I experienced in my life (still do this-obviously) that I learned quickly that this outlet became a “safer” way because words written on paper undelivered, unread by others could not hurt anyone. Spoken words once out of the mouth cannot be sucked back in. Words on paper can be ripped up or burned. I remain committed to writing as a powerful form of expression-. You can began to see yourself in your words when you feel invisible to other important people-you can become visible through your written words. And I began to see some of the words and experiences as separate from the “essential me” deep inside. The ONE doing the writing was the Witness!! Writing became a pathway to connecting with my witness self-conscious self-higher self-whatever label we want to place on that part of us that silently watches us do us and observes the world around us.

    Writing allows me to see deeper patterns, what I actually value. And I can put voice to the thousands of DVRs that still play like scenes in the movie of Laura’s Life so Far.

    Thank you so much for these articles on Why You Write!! Thank you for asking us why we write-if writing is therapeutic. I would also offer that offer that writing and reading continues to create transformations from the inside out.

    • Thank you dear Laura! I just sent you an email. I appreciate your thoughtful and, as usual, lyrical response. How correct you are as you write so eloquently. Words stated cannot be sucked back while on paper than can be discarded.

      I appreciate you reading and commenting. I look forward to the publication of your amazing book!💖

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